Steph details how ‘very human' Kerr is guiding Warriors through grief

Steph details how ‘very human' Kerr is guiding Warriors through grief originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

As the NBA and basketball community throughout the world mourns the death of Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojević, Steve Kerr has handled the unimaginable situation like the leader Golden State knows him to be.

And while the Warriors have weathered many storms, none were like this. In an exclusive interview with The Athletic's Marcus Thompson II, point guard Steph Curry shared how Kerr has done his best to guide a distraught team -- while weighed down with sadness himself -- as they somehow return to playing basketball.

"He’s just very human,” Curry told Thompson. “I mean that in the way of basketball is important but it’s not and has never been the priority when it comes to his ability to manage people, his staff, the team, manage up, manage down. So in light of a traumatic experience like this, that shines bright.

"Because he has a way with words that are authentic -- taking care of each other, putting the person before anything -- and he’s echoed that in the way he’s talked about Deki.”

Milojević, lovingly known as 'Deki ' passed away last Wednesday morning in Salt Lake City, Utah, after suffering a heart attack during a team dinner the night before. Per Thompson, Milojević's family -- his wife Natasa, their son Nikola and their daughter Masa -- flew to Utah and ultimately decided to take him off life support.

It was Kerr who had to inform members of the Warriors organization of Milojević's death -- the team's entire traveling party of about 50 people, per Thompson.

“There are no words to handle that type of a moment,” Curry told Thompson. “But when he was the first to speak, he didn’t shy away from the moment at all and did his best to meet the moment with sincerity and reverence for what Deki meant to all of us. You’re the first person to talk in front of the entire organization that was traveling, and Deki’s family — he didn’t have to do that. But he chose to.”

Kerr also chose to honor Milojević after his passing by celebrating the beloved coach before Golden State's first full practice back.

The team's games against the Utah Jazz that Wednesday and the Dallas Mavericks on Friday at Chase Center both were postponed, and, per Thompson, Kerr on Monday had the Warriors watch the Milojević tribute held by KK Partizan and KK Mega Basket, for whom he played and coached, respectively, before the two teams faced off in his hometown of Belgrade, Serbia.

Again, it wasn't something Kerr had to do -- but he chose to. And it's clear that has meant everything to Curry and the rest of the Warriors.

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